Successful Home Renovations Are All About Decisions! Do You Have The Time and Expertise?

Do You Have the Time and Expertise to Vet, Schedule, Supervise and Coordinate a Team of Tradesman to control your Renovation’s Quality, Timelines, and Cost Outcomes? 
Even a limited renovation project can require multiple tradesconstruction trades, vetting trades, selecting trades working with several of your home’s structures and systems, ie. electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. In addition, once a project is underway there can be costly surprises – Most Avoidable!
Expect the Unexpected – Recently we, Properties, Probe & Renovation(PPR), were called into a project that started small but was full of costly surprises for the owner! The owner’s original plan was for a new deck, fence and cosmetic interior improvements. The plan changed dramatically and the cost skyrocketed due to system failures that were uncovered as work began. The projects evolved into a need for mold remediation, system replacements, structural improvements and the need to fully redo the interior! The original plan evolved into a major renovation!
Note – A forensic inspection of the house prior to the owners beginning the home inspections, house inspections, property inspectionssmall projects would have made a tremendous difference in the planning process, the time required for renovation and have reduced the overall costs – as well as reducing the emotional roller coaster of surprises for the owner! Even though the inspection would have delivered bad news, the owner would not have been constantly facing unexpected surprises and the accompanying unexpected costs!
When the owner contacted PPR to be the Project Manager, we were able to work with him to: (1) Bring organization to the renovation project, (2) Create timelines (3) Establish a flexible budget (4) Begin the process of vetting the required trades, and (5) Bring the owner some Peace-of-Mind. PPR became the owner’s eyes and ears – His WatchDog!

As PPR working with the owner looked at the all encompassing renovation, it became apparent that a long list of integrated trades would be needed to bring the project to completion. Each of the trades would need to be vetted for quality, availability and cost. The owner of the property did not have the time or expertise to perform the vetting. This is one of the ways a Project Manager is valuable.

PPR need to vet ththe extensive list of trades below! This list should assist other owners in understanding the time and expertise required to select, manage, supervise and coordinate the tradesman and other professionals required to complete a project!
Note – the above owner’s home was only 1,400 square feet!
Here’s a Sample List of Tradespeople
Storage Facilities
Fence Installers
Landscape Designers
Floor Heater
Mudders & Tappers
Foundation Experts
Organizers & Packers
Garage Door Installers
Painters – Interior
Trench Diggers
Chimneys and
Geothermal Systems
Painters – Exterior
Trash Haulers
Closet Systems
Pest Control
Utility Line Locators
Counter Installers
Gutters & Downspouts
Wall Paper Installers
Day Labor
Hot Water Heaters
POD Providers
Window & Doors
Zoning Specialists
Insulation Specialists
Security Systems
And More!
Interior Designers
Siding Companies
Kitchen – Interior
Site Selection
Kitchens- Exterior
Stone Flooring
Do You Have the Time or Expertise to Vet, Schedule, and Supervise a Team of Tradespeople to fulfill your Project’s Quality and Cost-Efficiency Outcomes? PPR does.
 vetting trades. property manager

The PPR Mission — To Protect the Client’s Interests and Provide Peace of Mind!!

PPR will Safeguard the Quality and Costs of Your Forensic Inspection and/or Renovation Project by vetting expert tradespeople, efficiently scheduling project tasks, coordinating projects and providing onsight oversight. Our WatchDog Services!      

         Tell us about your Project…
            Contact Phil Eide . Email: . Call or Text: 216.577.5579 . Visit: 



Who Can Protect Your Real Estate Interests – Residential & Commercial?

PPR – We’re Your Real Estate WatchDog!

What Does PPR Do?

About PPR. We at Properties, Probe and Renovation (PPR) are getting interesting and valuable inquires about the breadth and depth of our services! We are also getting many questions about what PPR does and what differentiates our model in each of our business sectors. In addition, people want to know how PPR can help them! 

real estate, properties, probe, renovation, PPR

 PPR Services and What We Do. PPR started with a focus on 3 real estate related sectors and added 2 based on market demand. Here are PPR’s 5 key competencies:

3. Onsight Property Management – and we added

4. Decluttering & Organization – web page under construction

5. Home Watch – web page under construction 

 Note: One question generally comes up 1st as people review PPR’s services:

The Question – How can PPR claim superior expertise in each of these diverse specialties?

The Answer – No one organization could effectively provide the all of the following 5 services. Unlike many companies who claim to “Do it all”, PPR vets local industry professionals to meet the specific needs of the client. We then act as the WatchDog as the professional(s) perform their services to assure quality!   

Description of PPR’s Services. The 5 PPR services and how the services can assist potential clients:

1) Site Location. PPR is a Site Location and Real Estate site location, site search, real estate sites Search Company focused on locating the most perfect residential or commercial property per our Client’s financial and/or lifestyle specifications. As our Client’s PPR WatchDog, we are not obligated to dual agency as are most real estate brokers–therefore we consider ONLY the interests of our Clients.

2) Forensic Property Inspections. PPR is a Real Estate home inspections, house inspections, real estate inspectionsForensic Inspection Company utilizing vetted trade experts to perform a thorough, objective probe/examination of the land, physical structure, and systems of the Client’s property of interest to identify current and potential maladies. What value does our PPR WatchDog protection offer our Client? With a thorough analysis of the condition of a property, financial risk is reduced because the current or potential ROI can be more accurately assessed.

3) Renovation Project Management. PPR is an Onsite Oversight Renovation Project Management Company acting as our Client’s project management, construction management, renovation management, remodeling managementPPR WatchDog by supervising a renovation project from inception to completion! PPR works with our Client’s design teams – Architects, Engineers and Designers –  and then vet the repair and installation teams during the construction phases of the project. These efforts protect our Client against poor quality materials and unacceptable installations to better assure the Client’s desired outcomes. Unlike General Contractors who are generally focused on keeping a sub-contractor team together, timelines, and moving onto the next renovation project, PPR is focused on completing our Client’s renovation project to their own specifications. We focus exclusively on our Client’s lifestyle needs before, during, and after the renovation; the quality of their project; and cost-controls.

decluttering, clutter, home decluttering, home organization4) Decluttering & Organization. PPR understands clutter and how to help our Clients overcome it. Utilizing hands-on tools, systems, and solutions for organizing and decluttering, PPR provides vetted professionals who focus on optimizing living and working spaces for renovation prep, downsizing, or refreshing. Respecting our Clients and their possessions is paramount through the sorting, packing, distribution, and relocation process. With efficiency and cost-savings, PPR helps clients  manage their decluttering and organizing projects to reduce stress and frustration!

5) Home Watch. PPR looks after a home and property when the owner is away for an extended period? When seasonal or extended business home watch, house watch, home visitationtravelers, those working out-of-town, absentee owners, lessors, and others cannot regularly oversee their own property, PPR provides a visitation service which verifies the condition and safety of a property during the owner’s absence. In addition, PPR provides our Clients with vetted services and trades to handle emergencies which may arise. Such a simple solution to provide peace-of-mind!

What PPR Provides Clients. People who are looking for or own real estate! More than ever, those seeking and owning real estate require professional services which represent their interests on an unbiased basis – their eyes and ears!. The needs may start with the location of a best real estate watchdog, watchdog, property watchproperty to inspecting the properties in which they have an interest to assisting in renovation project management. PPR becomes our Client’s WatchDog!

How Can PPR Assist You?

The best way is to send us a brief email – – describing your project, location and any questions. You can also call or text Phil at 216.577.5579. 


Seriously…You can Avoid the potential Dark Side of Home Renovation…

Horror Story or Dream-Come-True? The PPR 24-Item Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/ Preparation Check-List!

 Making the Decision to Renovate.

home renovations, renovations, remodeling, renovation disasters, project managementDeciding to renovate your home is one of the most important decisions you can make as a home owner. We all have heard the horror stories associated with a renovation project. Despite this, we embark on a home renovation because we have high hopes and huge dreams about creating satisfying, even luxurious living spaces.

 Renovation Equals Messy.

Regardless of the most exacting planning, a renovation process creates disruption and is messy…

          –messy in the design planning with its multiple ideas and final decisions you, your family, your architect/designer, and Project Manager must consider and agree upon;

          –messy during construction with the basic flow of every-day-life put in disarray despite the best efforts of your Project Manager to control the construction process;

          –messy in the furnishing choices, wait-time, and coordination until the final outcome is achieved!

 The Knight in Shining Armor: Your Check-List (and your Project Manager!)

To prevent the excitement of your new space turning into an escalation of frustration, an out-of-hand budget, and a disappointment of epic proportions, reno prep is mandatory. And your 24-Item PPR Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List must now become your newest, most-important best friend!

 If you take the Check-List to heart, the process and stages of your renovation can be reasonably orderly and achievable with the least amount of stress for you and your family. The 24-Item PPR Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List which follows is a guide; you and your Project Manager will custom-tailor the List to meet your renovation requirements.
The PPR 24-Item Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List

  1) Thoroughly discuss the project with family. Agree on the details of the renovation: Type, Time, Style, Budget, Design Details, etc.

  2) Determine what you can afford allowing for 20-40% in cost overages. You may want to consider checking with your financial adviser(s) to line up any necessary financing which will be involved. At this stage of early planning, keep in mind that renovation projects are synonymous with unexpected costs due to changes in required or desired material and/or construction.
  3) Check with Governmental Entities about Codes, Permits, and Scheduling Inspections.  Note – Your Project Manager (PM) will do this for you. Your PM will also assure that each of the trades is fully aware of the regulations and that the materials used meet the codes. Inspections  often must be scheduled and approval obtained before walls go in!
  4) Consider how to manage living arrangements for you and your family during the renovation. Availability of power, water and heat may be limited at times during the renovation. Remember that among other problems there will be dust, muddy areas, loud noises and a constant flow of unfamiliar work people.
  5) Consider the Living Arrangements for Your Pets and Animals. Remember that among other challenges, there will be dust, muddy areas, loud noises and a constant flow of unfamiliar workers.
  6) Check with all related Home Owner Associations to assure that your project is in compliance. Each and every association has its own set of restrictions. It is best to understand the regulations to avoid delays, required changes and unnecessary litigation.
  7) Let your neighbors know about your renovation plans. Note – Your PM will do this for you. Projects create noise, dust, mud and traffic. It is best to keep peace in the community.
  8) Determine your ideal time to start the renovation. Note – Your PM can assist you in determining the best availability of skilled trades and to get the best prices. Realize that the house will need to be organized and storage may be required. Generally allow 30 days for the organizing process.
  9) Initiate the planning stage by working with a Project Manger (PM) – not a General Contractor (GC). There is a startling difference between the services of a PM and a GC. Follow This Link to read and understand which of the two professionals best represents your real estate interest from project inception to project completion and which offers the most comprehensive project onsite oversight.
  10) Find the right renovation Professionals for you and your Family. Interview and vet the parties to make sure there is a good fit for your project:

            Project Manager (PM)


            Structural Engineer

            Interior Designer(s)

  11) Get a Floor Plan for the entire house: The measurements and location of Structures/Systems. Knowing the measurements and structures of the entire house and sharing them with the various trades as necessary will save time and per-hour-costs of tradespeople on your project. Look to your PM to accomplish this task. Your PM should check with each of the trades and suppliers to assure that they have the exact measurements before ordering, cutting, installing, etc.
  12) Check for and mark all utility lines – Gas, Water, Electric, Sewer/Sump- located in areas affected by renovation. Note – Your PM will make these arrangements. This is extremely important! Your PM will also guide the trades as they work in the areas where utilities are located to prevent disruption of service and added repair and construction delay costs.
  13) Assure that the Electric Service is adequate for the new renovation. Note – Your PM will do this for you. Most homes built before 2000 did not anticipate the electronic load required to energize the multiple devices we use in our homes today. Your utility and your PM can determine your needs working with the Architect and Engineer(s).
  14) Discuss the renovation project with your Insurer. During and following the renovation you will want to make sure that your coverage meets your needs. This is not a good time to be under-insured!
  15) Focus on Quality and Durability as well as Appearances. Given the multiple number of suppliers, products and price points, it is extremely important to take into consideration the quality, durability, price, and appearance when comparing the construction materials you are choosing.
  16) Choose Designs that will provide lasting value – Avoid trends and fads! The renovation and design should enable you and your family enjoyment and comfort for years to come. Suppliers and the shows on TV feature ideas that are designed to sell products which excite an audience…but what is made popular today may not be good for you in the longer run or to a potential buyer in the future.
  17) Plan the organizing, decluttering, packing and storage required to get the renovation underway. On average, it takes at least 30 days to prepare the home or condo for the renovation. At this stage, working with your PM or a trained Organizer is essential to assure that the items discarded as trash really are trash items and not valuable to you. It is essential that you and your family’s possessions are protected and that moving back into the house goes smoothly based on an orderly method of boxing and labeling your household goods as part of the preparation process. Reminder: You or your PM should make arrangements for delivery and location of a dumpster.
 18) Carefully protect your possessions that are valuable, sentimental or fragile. There will be a constant flow of people in and out of the house during the renovation. Nothing is safe!
  19) Work with your PM and the other Professionals to assure that they thoroughly understand Your Goal. It is essential that you, your family and all of the professionals involved in your renovation project understand all of the nuances of why you are renovating. Every family they work with has a different set of motivations and desired outcomes. Make sure your PM schedules regular “Pulse Meetings” so that all parties are aware of the current status of the project. If you have selected the right professionals, they will share in your vision and do everything possible to make your Dreams Come True!
  20) Schedule a Forensic Home Inspection for the entire structure and property. While the renovation itself may only involve a part of your home, the systems and structures are inherently tied together. It is essential to have a forensic inspection to understand the condition of all structures and systems as well as to limit unfortunate and costly surprises.
  21) Schedule the times that you want to be on site to tour and inspect the renovation’s progress. You or your family’s presence can be extremely disruptive to the trades in getting their work accomplished. This will create additional clock hours with additional costs to your project. Let your PM represent you!
  22) Avoid making unnecessary design changes after the PM, Architect, Engineer(s) and Design firm(s) have finalized a renovation plan and budget. Changes cause the overall costs to skyrocket and timelines to become extended. In addition, work that has already been accomplished by the trades may need to be replaced at your cost.
  23) Check all deliveries of materials, fixtures and supplies— Discrepancies are often the norm rather than the exception. Your PM should check all invoices to assure accuracy plus open all boxes and check that the delivery matches the ordered material, quantity, quality and condition. Your PM should reject order discrepancies. The new invoice will need to be adjusted, a new delivery date scheduled, and the trades involved in using the product notified about the delay. The PM will then adjust all timelines involved and provide them to the trades.
  24) Expect the Unexpected. You’ll Sleep Better!
In Conclusion – When embarking on a renovation, the more you plan, the luckier you get and the more rewarding your project becomes! A strategic plan initiated at renovations, renovation goals, renovation expectations, construction dreams, property managementthe beginning of your renovation project is one of the most significant contributing factors to a successful project! As you can see from the above Check-List, a successful project depends in part on being well organized, working with the right people, and              constantly being aware of your surroundings.
 Either you or the Project Manager (PM) needs to be omnipresent – a condition which PPR calls “Onsight Oversight”. You or the PM must have the ability to creatively solve problems and communicate with parties from a multitude of backgrounds who offer diverse skill sets while being constantly aware of Time, Quality and Cost. In addition, the focus must always be on obtaining the desired results.
 Who will be your Project Manager? From inception to completion, a renovation should be a full-time job. It is, in fact, a very big job!

Do you have the time, expertise and patience to oversee the project from start to finish – every day? Or do you think the renovation project would go more smoothly if you worked with a full-time Project Manager (PM), thereby allowing you to attend to your regular work, travel, or leisure schedule while providing you and your family peace-of-mind?

PPR, renovation oversight, your property watchdog

If, upon consideration, you would like to explore the option of hiring a Project Manager, feel free to discuss your Project with PPR at no cost or obligation! Our PPR WatchDog will protect your Real Estate interests and point you in the right directions! 

    Email or 

  Call Direct: 216.577.5579

Renovation Myth Number 1: Winter Months Are A Bad Time For Home Renovations!

PPR Myth Buster Number 1: 

In Fact, Starting a Renovation from December through February Promotes Construction and Financial Quality Advantages!

home owners dreams, renovations, remodeling,

Are You Considering a Home Renovation? Whether you are buying a house — or have been living in your home for years — you and your family may be imagining renovations that would transform the ho-hum into the Home of Your Dreams!

Winter Time is a Perfect Time to Plan so You Can Begin Inspection and Construction as Early as Late Winter! Use your Holiday time to celebrate AND to collect your ideas and pictures about what it will take to make your renovation a dream-come-true!

Here’s Why: Renovation projects begin with an Architect, an Engineer, and your Project Manager who has your back from the inception to the completion of the Project, including onsite oversight for the Inspection and the Construction phases—with a Project Manager, most often you will not need a General Contractor.

winter renovations, renovations, remodeling, project management, dream homes

Start planning in December & January and, most likely, it will be late Winter before even a demolition of your renovation-to-be or a shovel has taken its first turn on the earth. And you will be able to take advantage of “Slow Season” prices! Also, keep in mind that any projects of size can take a year or more from inception to completion, so getting started earlier than later means you get to enjoy your new lifestyle space(s) sooner than later!

Examples of the Most Popular Renovation Projects…

                                    Can You Find the One You are Looking for or

                                         Do You have Another Project in Mind?

Kitchens & Dining Areas (Indoor & Outdoor)

2nd Floor Add-On to Traditional Ranch House

1st Floor Master Bedroom with a Spa-like EnSuite Bathroom

Carriage/Gate House for Family, Friends or as a Rental

In-Law Suite with Separate Entrance and a Full Set of Amenities

Media Room, Recreation and/or Fitness Center

Live-In Caretaker Suite

Porches & Patios

Exterior Face Lift with New Entries

Out-of-Town Vacation Property or Condo

Combinations of the above

Here are the 8 Advantages to Beginning Your Renovation Planning, Design, Property Inspection, and the Initial Stages of Construction in the Late Winter…

1) Winter is the Slow Season for Renovations – More quality trades are available and you or your Project Manager (PM) will experience more convenient and expedited project scheduling.

2) Better Prices  The “Slower Season” opens the opportunity for better negotiating costs for Time & Materials.

3) If You’re Going to be Away for the Winter Months, and you have your design plans completed, that’s the perfect time to renovate! A Project Manager (PM) can be your project WatchDog and keep you fully informed.

4) Shorter Time for Permits — The government agencies will be less busy so you or your Project Manager (PM) can get your permits and inspections quicker.

5) Frozen Ground and Dry Air are Better for Digging Foundations and pouring concrete footers than muddy ground and humidity.

6) Avoid Manufacturer Spring and Summer Price Increases — Now is the time to take advantage of reduced prices. You and your Project Manager (PM) may find close-out prices on materials, systems and appliances before manufacturers increase their prices to suppliers who will pass those increases onto you later on in the Season.

7) Gardens and yards can recover in the Spring — Gardens and lawns take a beating during any kind of construction, no matter how careful your workers are – the construction process creates traffic and materials which need to be temporarily stored and/or moved over your lawn. The advantage of renovating during winter is that any garden damage will recover far faster with the vibrant growth which Spring brings!

8) And Last, but not Least, Your Dream Renovation will be Finished Sooner-Than-Later!

What are the 4 Disadvantages to Beginning a Renovation in the Winter Months? 1) Shorter days for outdoor work 2) Possible weather delays 3) The need for Plowing & Shoveling 4) Temporary Heating may be needed.

Even so, most people agree that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages!

The Bottom-Line…What’s the Point of Waiting? Most people want to live in a home which they thoroughly enjoy, which meets their needs, and which has room for everyone. They want to be proud of their home…Here’s your opportunity to participate in your home design and own something you will truly enjoy and be proud of.

dream homes, renovations, remodeling, construction, winter renovations

How to Get Started? Call us at 216.577.1307. One of the simplest ways to start the Renovation Process —without contracts or obligations — is to discuss your dream with a Project Manager (PM) whowill walk you through the stages involved in a renovation, the professionals required, address your concerns, and answer important questions.

If you’d like to discuss your Dream and how the PPR WatchDog will protect your real estate property interests during a renovation project, email or call 216.577.5579 

For Your Reading – Recently PPR wrote a Blog on the difference between a Project Manager (PM) and a General Contractor (GC). To protect your interests, and only your interests, the PM manages your Renovation from Inception to Completion with onsite oversight at every phase of the Project, including the Inspection and Construction phases. The GM takes on the Construction Phase only.


How To Avoid the Renovation Nightmares You’ve Heard About!

Choose a Project Manager (PM) – OVER – a General Contractor (GC)

You’ve Heard the Horror Stories..And I’ve Been There Myself! Many years ago I depended on a GC to oversee a large renovation project only to find myself in the midst of continual project delays, inferior materials and installations and as a result, a project completed at a lesser quality Using a Project Manager - Making the right renovation decision!than the overall design had dictated plus many lost dollars. The GC made claims and promises he did not keep and I had virtually no recourse. I learned then how important an Owner Representative Project Manager is…one who provides onsite oversight to meet the owner’s objectives from project inception to project completion. Choosing a PM over a GC makes it possible to survive a renovation so that planned outcomes are realized with a minimum of unplanned disruptions, stress, sleepless nights, problems with partners, and financial losses!

Choose the Smoothest Renovation Project Experience: Hire a PM, NOT a GC! The common wisdom is that a residential and/or commercial real estate renovation project requires a GC to head up the construction, which is only one phase of the project . Unfortunately, especially in the residential realm, most owners are not aware of the more comprehensive role which a PM plays in a renovation: managing a renovation project from design, through construction to completion. In other words, the PM oversees the entire project as the owner’s representative; the GC only operates during the construction phase representing his/her staff of trades and vendors supplying construction materials. The use of a PM is more common to commercial projects, and high-end construction and renovations. They are utilized by top architectural firms.

Unfortunately, most owners planning to begin a renovation project begin the construction process by interviewing and asking for bids from GCs only after working with architects and engineers during the design phase. The wiser course is for the owner to seek out a PM at the start of the design process who then moves into the construction phase understanding, visualizing, and executing the overall project design through onsite oversight.

Here’s Where Many Renovation Nightmares Begin! Not realizing that they have the PM choice, many owners try to find a GC thinking the GC represents their interests and will therefore work to meet their specific needs, complete the project on time and stay in budget. Most owners who have undertaken a renovation, however, encounter the following problems as a result of working with a GC because a GC is NOT the owner’s representative, but rather represents their staff of trades and their materials vendors.

Common GC Nightmares

                                  Lack of Communications                                                             Systems Failure

                                  Attitude Problems w/Subcontractors                                        Unfinished Projects

                                  Starting & Quitting Times w/ Workers                                       Missed Deadlines

                                  Worker Cleanliness, Attire and Language                                 Lack of Invoices and Documentation

                                  Lack of Craftsmanship                                                                  Project Cost Overruns

                                  Substandard Materials and Installation                                     Delayed Completion Dates

                                  Lack of GC Project & Worker Oversight                                     Lack of Transparency

                                  Unfinished Projects                                                                        Lack of Ongoing Accountability

                                  Lack of Oversight                                                                            Inferior Materials

                                  Inferior Installations                                                                       Expensive Litigation

Need More Info on the Difference Between a PM and a GC? Here are Some Details… 

The Project Manager (PM) becomes involved in the owner’s renovation process during the planning/ pre-construction phase and continues to work on behalf of the client by overseeing the construction project on a day-by-day basis from start to finish. The PM vets the best of workers, trades, and subcontractors to complete each individual phase of the project with a concentrated effort to streamline project scheduling among the trades to keep the focus on quality, cost and time. By involving PMs early in the development process, the pre-construction design team is capable of making more informed decisions and the construction team is capable of deriving more precise cost estimates, thereby saving the client time and money. The collaboration between the client, construction Project Manager, architects and engineers results in a better-informed and more efficient project process, further strengthens relationships, and yields specific and overall project outcomes which best meet the client’s plan design.

The General Contractor (GC) becomes involved after the architects and engineers have completed the plans and is responsible for only the management and coordination of the construction phase of a project. GCs are typically hired on by the client through a bidding process that integrates the advice from the client’s consultants, namely the architects and engineers. Often the lowest qualified bid is selected for the job. The GC uses his own staff, trades, subcontractors and materials vendors with whom he/she has a working relationship. Once the construction process is underway, the GC primarily interacts with the client through the architect. There is little to no effort made to foster an environment of cooperation and collaboration between the GC, client, and architect. Often, this results in misunderstandings, confrontations, hostilities and less than planned-for project outcomes.

                           Item-by-item Comparison Between a PM and a GM

Project Manager (PM)

General Contractor (GC)

Works with Architects & Engineers at the beginning of the Real Estate Renovation project– Assists with design and purchasing

Bids on project after architectural & engineering plans are drafted – Not involved in the client, architect, or engineer’s design vision so execution can be compromised

Has the capacity to manage multiple types of projects

Often has expertise and workers focused on specific types of construction

Vets and hires the most expert trades and professionals to construct each job associated with the renovation, researches the best solutions for the design, and oversees materials quality and installation

Utilizes own staff, trades, and materials vendors with whom they have an ongoing relationship, often with cursory regard for the expertise needed for a given project

Trades and subcontractors hired by PM as the Owner’s Representative

Trades and subcontractors work for GC – Client has little or no say

Works with the client, architect, and designers to select materials compatible with the owners specifications

Generally works with the materials provided by the client through the architects and designers, and/or the materials vendors with whom the GC has a financial relationship, with minimal, if any, client input

As the Owner’s Representative, works with Architects, Engineers and specific trades to assure that all permits are obtained, work is to code, and that inspections go smoothly to protect the owner

Generally expects the Architects, Engineers and Subcontractors to handle permits, code violations and inspections with the responsibility for meeting code requirements left to the Client.

Works with client on paying trades and subcontractors when projects – or parts of projects – have been inspected for quality and approved when the job specifications have been met. Provides the client with invoices and daily work logs

Client pays GC who pays the Trades and Subcontractors and materials as agreed upon with client, most often without critical materials and/or project quality inspection and approval…GC may or may not itemize expenses and hours for the client

Communicates with the client on a daily basis – or as agreed upon. Total transparency re: the concerns, progress and costs of projects

Generally have limited communications with the client – unless there are major problems, delays or when more funding is required

Provides onsite oversight whenever work is being done on projects associated with the renovation, inspecting projects for quality as work is being done

Is on site only as needed by the trades and subcontractors with cursory oversight for quality of materials and installation specified by the project design

Here’s a Second Opinion About the Value of a PM vs a GC

From a Leader in the Construction Industry…

Watchdogpm is an owner representative firm for large commercial and industrial projects and is not related to PPR. Watchdogpm says that before you decide whether to hire a Project PM or a GC for your next real estate project, you should

…know the difference. And if you can’t decide, do your project a favor: hire a project manager who will manage your full project scope, not just construction.”

Here’s the PPR Conclusion – If you want a strong foundation for the real estate renovation project you are Project Manager, construction manager, home renovations, remodeling, real estateconsidering, it’s time to take the 1st Steps by putting together your management team: Architect; Engineers and Project Manager. Then your renovation project will be completed with a minimum of fuss and bother and a maximum of satisfaction and pride!

We’re good listeners at PPR and if you and we agree that the fit is right our PPR WatchDog is ready, willing and able to protect your real estate interests by managing the full scope of your project through onsite oversight–from inception to completion!

Want to discuss your project? Contact PPR by email or call 216.577.5579

Stop & Think Before You Begin Home Renovations! 12 Things To Do!!

Home Renovations? Stop and Think!Renovating a home or property can be extremely rewarding – adding value to both the property and lifestyles while providing a great sense of satisfaction and achievement in the process. However, no matter if you’re undertaking a big or small project – or renovating for profit or love – there are a number of factors you need to consider in your planning before beginning work.

1) The Big Why. Be clear on why you are renovating. Are you renovating to flip or are your intentions more long-term for comfort and better use? There are many reasons to renovate a property. You may want to enhance its livability. You may want to expand it or update it. You may want to fix it up to rent- out or sell.

If renovations are for family or personal reasons, it often involves a more emotional spend; it can be easy to over-capitalize this important investment and it is wise to recognize that it is very easy to get carried away beyond your intended renovation project budget!

On the other hand, the renovation may be a purely financial one because you plan to rent-out or sell the property in future; then it may be wise to plan and budget your renovation project more exclusively from a return-on-investment perspective.”

2) Treat Your Property & the Renovation as an Investment! Consider the valuation of your property – before and after renovation. Determine the value of similar properties in your area to help you decide what improvement projects are reasonable and worthwhile based on the property’s future: for lifestyle, renting or selling. Comparative property values (“Comps”) can help you determine if and when you can get a return on your investment (ROI) within your planning future. Most often, it is not wise to over-capitalize your property if one of your primary goals is to maximize its investment potential.

3) Get a Pre-Renovation Inspection. The pre-renovation inspection of the property is a different service than a pre-purchase inspection. The inspection before you purchase a property should determine the big picture of the house condition; it should focus on determining the exact condition of major systems such as the roof, furnace, plumbing and wiring. It is a must in the purchase of any property — new or old.

The pre-renovation inspection has a scope that is defined more by the homeowner, the renovations planned, and the details of the house. It is an encompassing inspection of all systems related to the renovation and, in the case of property additions, those systems which will be affected post-renovation within the existing property. It requires a set of experienced inspectors from a variety of trades and professions.

4) Expect the Unexpected! One unpleasant aspect of home renovations is that renovating your property to accomplish your desired results almost always leads to repairing or replacing materials and systems which you weren’t planning. Most often, this occurs because hidden problems are found when the work progresses or the property owner decides to change aspects of the project plans after the project has begun.

5) Budget/Budget/Budget – Don’t bite off more than you can chew…budget for the unexpected! Determine with your financial advisers and project manager what projects should be done in the near term and which could be done in phases. Whether you are acting as project manager or have hired a competent project manager to do onsight oversight, build in a 20-30 percent cushion to cover the nasty, unexpected surprises. Never pay a trade in full before the work is done and the work has been inspected by you or your project manager.

6) Don’t Forget Big Brother! Check with the local government entities re: Codes, Permits, etc. Your tradespeople and project manager should provide you with these details. Aside from warning your neighbors about loud noise, there’s most likely a zoning commission, town clerk or council which needs to know that you are altering your property. In addition, there may be interim systems inspections of the work at stages of completion; until these inspections are completed and the work approved by the inspector, work on the systems in questions cannot proceed. Check the rules and regulations in your city, council or area to make sure you comply! Schedule the inspections and the projected wait times between work completion and inspections into your timeline. The last thing you want is to have to undo the work you have paid for because a tradesperson proceeded with work which had not been approved before a scheduled interim system inspection!

7) Buyer Beware! Determine what you need for the project and compare based on five factors: the best choices, value, quality and durability at the best price! Your contractor may have vendor relationships, but often comparison shopping will offer a better choice of the five factors. You may get the best buys from a variety of vendors – from local vendors and online. On a project-by-project, room-by-room basis, work with your project manager to determine and buy for the five factors for all materials and fixtures. Before making any purchases for the materials you have chosen, check with your project manager on obtaining discounts from relationships the trades have with vendors.

8) Don’t Take Your Eyes Off the Project! You or your project manager need to be onsight and overseeing each and every phase of the project on each and every day when tradespeople are working on your property’s renovation project. Do Not Trust the Builder or General Contractor to be your Eyes and Ears! Their relationship to the project is to minimize timelines (often at the expense of quality) and to provide working opportunities for their team of tradespeople (without necessarily vetting them for their expertise for a given type of installation included in your plans or for the quality of materials they would use).

A project manager (PM) will protect your current and ongoing property investment by ensuring that your project’s budget, timeline, quality materials, installation and workmanship are managed to the highest degree possible. It is the PM’s responsibility to vet, oversee and supervise the contractors and subcontractors to make sure the property is being renovated both to your project specifications and to local building codes. The PM is your property watchdog!

9) Who’s Making the Decisions? To assure quality materials and installation throughout your project, it is vital that day-to-day project decisions are not left to the builder(s) or General Contractor(s). Day-to-day decisions should be made by you or your project manager – to prevent as many errors as possible and especially when mistakes have been made, problems occur, material deliveries are late or material substitutions are required.

10) For Residential Renovations, Where and How will you Live? If the renovation project is only short term, minor or cosmetic, you may be able to live in the property during the renovation process. However, it is important to take into account the needs and safety of all family members – including pets. You need to plan for: unsafe areas; anxious pets; noise; neighbor complaints; intermittent electric, plumbing, heating & cooling, etc; dust, dust and more dust; toxic smells; people coming in and out at all hours; a complete lack of privacy.

For bigger, structural renovations, considering the real disruptions to your space such a renovation will require, you may need to move out for a few weeks, a few months or even longer! Will you stay with friends or family, or rent another place?

11) Timing is Everything! – It is extremely important for you or your Project Manager to keep timelines for all aspects of the project – packing and storage; demolition; trash removal; plumbing, electrical, carpentry; tilers; painters; etc. By the nature of the work, renovation project timelines are ever-evolving due to delays of any kind such as unavailable materials or unavailable tradespeople who were scheduled and/or those unanticipated surprise problems. Any delay creates a domino effect which effects all of the trades and the timelines; and these delays often increase costs, especially if they are not handled at the time of discovery. Remember: The work of each trade must be coordinated with all the other trades…A change in one timeline effects all timelines.

You, or your Project Manager, should have regular, day-to-day, “pulse meetings” to keep all of the trades in sync with the timelines as they evolve every day.

12) Prepare Your Family! points out: “’A home-remodeling project can strain even the most stable relationship,’ said the counselor. ‘Colleen and John had a solid marriage, but the renovations left their house and their lives in a state of perpetual disorder and anxiety, which they used against each other.’”

An analogy: stresses, “Renovating a home with a significant other is one of the ultimate tests of relationship endurance. It’s like having a baby, only if every detail of that baby were customized by you and your partner — eye and hair color, haircut style, eyebrow texture, cuticle length, frequency of spit-ups, etc. OK, so maybe remodeling a house together is the ultimate test.”

Working with a trusted Project Manager like PPR can assist you in achieving your property renovation’s objectives without experiencing many of the pitfalls. During the renovation, your property management Watchdog can provide you and your family peace-of-mind while permitting you to live a reasonably normal life!

Have a Renovation Project you’d like to discuss – Go To —